TAMPA, Fla. - Jacoby Ellsbury, sidelined by an oblique strain, on Thursday vowed to be ready for the Yankees' April 6 season opener. "I feel very confident that I'll be there Opening Day,'' Ellsbury said.
Ellsbury was scratched from the lineup Tuesday and went for an MRI on Wednesday after the Yankees initially said he didn't need one. Ellsbury said the change of heart was the team's and didn't indicate any increased level of concern or discomfort on his part from one day to the next. "It actually felt better,'' he said. "But I think they just wanted to be 100 percent, just to make sure.''
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Ellsbury last played Sunday. The Yankees' revised timetable after the MRI called for him to be shut down for a week.
Last season, Ellsbury didn't play in a major-league exhibition game after March 14 because of a strained calf. He got at-bats in minor-league games and was ready for the season opener.
"I'm fully confident that I'll be there on Opening Day, ready to play,'' he said.
Fifth-starter candidate Esmil Rogers allowed three runs in 31/3 innings in the Yankees' 7-3 loss to the Phillies Thursday night. He gave up five hits, walked one and struck out three . . . Chase Headley hit his second homer . . . Carlos Beltran will join Alex Rodriguez in staying in Tampa to play in minor-league games Sunday and Monday when the Yankees travel across the state to face the Mets and Nationals . . . Non-roster RHP Jared Burton is out with a strained lat muscle . . Minor-league RHP Moises Cedeno was suspended for 72 games for testing positive for the performance-enhancing drug Clenbuterol under baseball's minor-league drug program. He is on the Yankees' Dominican Summer League team roster.